Prof. dr. Martine Bouman in NRC Next: entertainment as an education tool

Prof dr Martine Bouman in NRC Next: entertainment as an

Prof. dr. Martine Bouman was interviewed by the Dutch newspaper NRC Next about the usefulness of television entertainment as an education tool. In the article, Bouman stresses that knowledge programs on television, such as the news and documentaries, only reach the upper layer of the population. The less educated audience can be reached and educated a lot better by using entertainment that contains information on issues such as health, sustainability, and social tolerance.

The newspaper article follows up on her inaugural lecture, titled Amusing Ourselves to Health and Happiness, which took place on Friday, January 22nd. Bouman’s lecture title refers to the book Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985), in which Neil Postman wonders how news and politics can be properly discussed if everything is presented as entertainment. Bouman, however, sees positive potential, and argues that entertainment has the ability to reach people who would otherwise be missing out on valuable information. “In the Netherlands, 1.3 million people are illiterate. Two-thirds of this group was born here. You cannot reach this group with an information brochure, but you can with entertainment.”

NRC Next further discusses Bouman’s throughts on the possible change in the Media Law (Mediawet), which will limit entertainment in public broadcasting. It also discusses Bouman’s career and her recently appointed Special Chair in Entertainment Media and Social Change at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication. Read the full article (in Dutch) here